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Most US states will soon require personal finance courses in school

California will become the 26th state to require personal finance courses in schools.
Posted at 2:27 PM, Jul 01, 2024

Now that California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign Assembly Bill 2927 into law, 26 U.S. states will require personal finance courses to be taught in high school.

Last week, Assembly Bill 2927 passed the state's Senate by a 39-0 margin before the Assembly approved it 77-0. The state's Department of Education said Newson is expected to sign the bill into law. California would require school districts to offer a one-semester course in personal finance at every high school in the state starting in 2027-28.

The course will then become a graduation requirement starting in 2030-31, officials said.

“Our young people need and deserve a clear understanding of personal finance so that they can make educated financial choices and build stable, successful futures for themselves and their future families,” California Superintendent Tony Thurmond said. “By adding personal finance to our high school graduation requirements, we acknowledge that managing household finances and building financial stability are essential life skills. Every child should have the opportunity to build these essential skills before navigating adult financial choices, not just those who happen to have the opportunity to learn these concepts at home or through an elective.”

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Students are expected to learn about the principles of budgeting for independent living, minimizing bank fees, workplace labor laws, managing credit scores and different types of insurance and retirement plans, among other topics.

In addition to the mandatory high school course, students in grades 1 and 2 will continue to be introduced to the topic of personal finance. The state put into place a basic financing curriculum for elementary school students in 2016.

Students in Grade 1 are expected to learn about how people exchange money for goods and services and how people make choices about how to spend money. Second grade students are taught the basic economic concepts of human wants, scarcity, and choice, and the importance of specialization in work today.

According to the 2022 TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index, 28% of U.S. adults have taken a course on financial literacy.

According to Next Gen Personal Finance, Pennsylvania became the 25th state to require personal finance courses in late 2023.